Monday, July 4, 2011

Typecast: Paralysis by analysis

I'm shelving the scanner-free typecasts for now, at least until I can (a) figure out how to photograph an A4 page nicely - a tall order, I'm sure, or (b) get into the habit of writing on several smaller pages, and (c) get back into typecasting regularly, period! Having this giant scanner on my shelf prods my conscience, so I might as well use it. Which does not mean I cannot show you my new ink blotter, perched on the Tippa S...

... or another book I picked up gratefully because typewriters are not the only machines lying fallow in my house. Yes, I have a sewing machine that, once upon a time, I was going to teach myself to use. In my defense, this is the first instruction book in English I have come across since purchasing said machine a year ago - so now I have no excuse, right? Except too few hours in the day. Sigh. I'll figure it out somehow, perhaps even craft an ugly skirt out of a hideous shirt one of these days. Can't wait.

A glimpse at the shelves in the Salvation Army's English section. A rather impressive selection of not-that-old literary bestsellers, if I may say so myself. Also reminds me of books I've been meaning to read but never got past the first few pages of (Kite Runner, White Teeth), others I downloaded but didn't get around to starting yet (What is the What) and a couple I have heard good things about haven't picked up (American Pastoral, Elegance of the Hedgehog).

Given Switzerland's proximity to the UK, the English-speaking population is skewed decidedly British, as you can imagine, a preference that shows up in the used book selection as well. Now, I don't know who this Jeremy Clarkson fellow is, but I was amazed to find this omnibus - three of his books in one, a hefty tome indeed. Publishers are still doing this? Is he really that funny? Who wants to carry this much text around in this day of ever-shrinking digital devices? Obviously the owner thought better of it - the book looked untouched.

Just the concept of the omnibus book brought on waves of nostalgia - ah, the Nancy Drew/ Hardy Boys/ Enid Blyton/ Sweet Valley omnibuses I have sought after and cherished, savoring every page! I miss 11-year-old me. My new resolution is to keep an eye out for those books and reread them for old times' sake, particularly the Blyton stories... you know, I think the Salvation Army would be a great place to start; they have a small English YA section that I shall take a closer look at next time.


  1. Jeremy Clarkson is a host on the UK show Top Gear, which is about cars. And yes, he is that funny. :)

    And I love my omnibus editions. But then, I don't own a kindle or other digital reading device.

  2. Nice to see you back online!

    As an American I am touched that our Independence Day is being noted around the typosphere today by an Australian, an Englishman, and a Ghanaian in Switzerland. I attended the Northside 4th of July parade here, which is full of funky and humorous entries like a lawnchair brigade, and fantasized about a typewriter brigade.

    Your Goodwill has some impressive literary heft.

  3. Anything you care to post is a gem and worth my time. If you get lazy, do so in my way and toss it up half-baked and unedited rather than not at all. It's how I force myself to do things. Also I've seen a few humorous columns by Clarkson that have all be very good.

  4. @Sophia and Peter - My mistake in not picking up that Clarkson, I see! I enjoy good humor, even if I am not a driver and don't know if it would be all that relatable. I just got around to googling Clarkson, though, and spotted this informative article:

    He makes a strong showing, and there are quite a few snarky comments about his writing! But hey, I did enjoy Da Vinci Code back in the day, so I will look up some Clarkson articles before making up my mind. Perhaps the omnibus will still be there on my next visit.

    @Richard: Glad you had a blast yesterday! The typewriter brigade would be quite a sight, I agree.

  5. Good to see you back at the blogface. I forgot to tell that the lady with the baby got her asking price on gumtree. She asked about fresh ribbons, and extended her gratitude to the Typosphere for the help and advice. A happy ending.

    PS: Apologies for Clarkson. He's a bit of an embarrassment to us Brits.

  6. Even if you don't drive, I highly advise you try finding at least 1 episode of Top Gear on youtube. I have a friend who didn't even drive at the time and had zero interest in cars, and managed to get her hooked on it after a single episode because they are just so funny.


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